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Celebrate the kiddos on May 5th. Not for Cinco de Mayo – for Children’s Day!
Traditionally known as Boys’ Day (Girls’ Day is March 3), May 5th is the time when families in Japan usually hang koi fish kites outside their home and give small gifts to the boys in the family. Growing up in Hawaii, Boys’ Day was always a big deal and I remembered seeing koi kites line up the streets on the way home.
Now known in the US as Children’s Day, May 5th is a great time to introduce Japanese culture to kids through crafts, traditions, and food.
How can you celebrate? Try these with the kids:
- Offer mochi (usually a symbol of good luck) to the kids. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores. Or you can cheat and get mochi ice cream from Trader Joe’s (not exactly the same mochi but close enough)
- Introduce gyoza (dumplings) to the kids
- Try any Japanese dish like rice bowls, bentos, or noodles dishes (usually represents long life)
- Make a koi kite
- Make origami – my 6 year old is just getting into this and I personally take pleasure in him pronouncing “origami” correctly. I didn’t take 4 years of Japanese for nothing
- Learn Japanese – introduce phases to kids like “domo arigato” (thank you) or “summimasen” (excuse me)
- Teach the kids how to count from 1-10 in Japanese
- More craft ideas and the history of Boys’ Day
For us, it’s all about the food and any excuse to eat mochi – which my kids love. You can even get mochi in different flavors – my 6 year old loves strawberry while my 4 year old loves orange.
Anyone else celebrate Boys’ Day?
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